“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living my baby you’ll be”- Robert Munsch

Image result for parents quotes  Now I’m not a parent and not even close to being one. However, I do have them. As someone who just turned 18 within the last couple months many of my friend’s parents, along with mine, are finding the happy medium of involvement still while beginning the letting go process.

My parents were young when they had me. My mom was 18 and my dad was 20. Even if they were grown adults I’ve always seen it as I grew up with them. I got to enjoy my parents in their prime.

Getting married right outta school and beginning their family I’d imagine there were tough times. I remember one time my mom telling me she wanted to prepare us girls for life so that if we chose to take the same route she did we would be ok. My mom and dad raised me to be very independent and self-sufficient.

For as long as I can remember I was told if I wanted something I had to save up and buy it. It wasn’t ever just handed to me. Nothing in life is free and if you want something you have to work for it. My parents taught me that at a young age. I hated it at the time because my friend’s parents didn’t do that, but having my own bills for the past two years I am so thankful my parents made me use my own money. Now I can manage my money.

It was more than just money though. As soon as we could make a sandwich it was our responsibility to make our lunches for school. If we forgot homework at home mom didn’t bail us out and bring it in. Like I said before I hated it at the time but all of this made me more prepared for this exact time in my life.

Most parents I know are getting ready to send their kid to college as one big push. My parents are too, but, the difference is my mom has been removing herself from certain aspects of my life and allowing me to make my own decisions for about two years now. It’s not all at once, it’s more gradual and allows for me to easily regain my footing if I make a mistake.

I always tell everyone that my first summer job I worked at a campground and my main work schedule was weekends and holidays. Which was also the time my family went to the U.P. all summer. My mom knew she could leave me home alone for the weekend and they did just that. It stunk cause I couldn’t go but I had a bigger responsibility. My mom didn’t make a big deal about it just said keep us in the loop and have a fun weekend working.

As I watch other kids parents they are having a really hard time letting go. It’s senior year, they’re getting ready to go to college, and parents think it’s the last time they’ll see them. Sure my mom is gonna miss me, but she knows she has done her part and has to trust all her and my dad taught me will carry me through. There isn’t  a scene when I choose to go with my boyfriend and his family for a weekend instead of my family. She gets that I’m building my own life and that she has to let go. It makes it a lot easier for me.

More independence is great cause you don’t feel like you can’t breathe, you’re more prepared for being on your own. Yet, through school, you’re the kid that can’t go to the movies with your friends because your insurance is due and you don’t have any extra money. On the flip side, someone who is waited on hand and foot has the money to go wherever whenever, but won’t know how to handle themselves, by themselves when the time comes.

There are pros and cons to both sides and the fact is neither one is superior to the other. It’s all a matter of what the parents think is best. My mom may seem heartless because she chose to raise me this way; because she chose not to make me a sandwich when I was very capable. I don’t see it like that at all, I saw her and my dad loving me so much that when it got to be time for me to graduate and go to college I was ready and prepared as much as I could be.

Eventually, parents have to let go, let their kids fly, and see where they go. Some will succeed and some will fail. It’s life; it’s not going to give in, it’s not gonna back away on a bad day, and it sure isn’t going to let you coast through without a little work. Anything in life requires hard work and money. I was fortunate enough to have parents that taught me that at a very young age and I believe I benefit from it now.

My mom isn’t the one breathing down my neck during my senior year because she is gonna be “broken to pieces to see me go”. She is gonna be the one standing proud because of all I’ve accomplished up to this point and I hope she feels secure in how she raised me. Her and my dad did a pretty good job if I do say so my self. I’m not scared of the world or what it holds. I know it can stab me in the back, break my heart, and take everything away, but no matter what I will not give up.

With all my rambling it comes to this, speaking on behalf of most kids my age…Parents give a little leeway. It’s ok to step back and watch us fail no matter how hard. I go against my mom’s advice a lot and wish I didn’t but it was for me to figure out and I’d never know unless I tried. If they’re 17-19 let them go. It’s not like they’ll go off to college and you’ll never see them again. They’ll always be your little boy/girl. You have to trust us and trust that you’ve prepped us in the best possible way to survive in this scary world. We’ll make mistakes, we’ll fail at things, we’ll face countless things. It’s life and it’s ours to figure out.

And kids realize your parents have dedicated years upon years, however old you are, to you. From the time your mom found out she was gonna have you and after your dad found out you have been a whole new part of their world. Your mom carried you for 9 months I think she deserves some time to be sappy and sad that her baby is all grown up. Cut them some slack and reassure them everything will be ok. So take that picture with them, ride into town, give them what they want because pretty soon you will be on your own and when you run out of toilet paper in the bathroom they won’t be there to bring you a roll haha. You’ll miss them just as they will miss you.

Mom- I don’t say it enough but thank you. Thank you for making me make my lunch and making me wake up by myself for school. Thank you for making me use my own money to buy stuff and not letting me spend it on useless things. Thank you for putting up with my tantrums because I thought none of this was fair when other kids didn’t have to do it or got to do it. IMG_4028I see now that you and dad were only helping me in ways you guys may have struggled at first. I am ready to face this world because of you and dad. You guys taught me things I would’ve never learned in school. There are too many times I criticize you for doing these things and make you think you’re a horrible parent. You’re not even the slightest bit, because when I look at my classmates around me at graduation I know I will be one who will succeed.

 

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Faith makes it real

“Ervin a tightrope walker used to do all kinds of crazy stunts like walk between bridges and skyscrapers. One day ole Erv decided to go big and stretch a line across Niagara falls. Now, nobody had tried that before so a huge crowd gathered. He brings a wheelbarrow and asks the crowd ‘How many of you believes I can walk across this line pushing this wheelbarrow’. The whole crowd shouts ‘We believe. We believe’. And then he asks ‘Who will get in that wheelbarrow and go with me?’ Crickets. Could’ve heard a pin drop. Believein he could do it that was easy they’d seen it, gettin into that wheelbrrow and letting someone else do the walking with no net under. That’s faith.”- Hoovey

Last night as I watched a movie based on a true story this “story” stuck with me. The dad was telling his son. The son had been a basketball star and began experiencing dizziness, headaches, and double vision. They went to an eye doctor and gave him glasses hoping to fix the problem. Then one day on the basketball court he got knocked over and knocked out; this led to a trip the ER where they found a tumor on his brain.

The did surgery on the tumor to remove it and all went well except a piece of bone had to be removed and no plate or metal could fix it. This meant he was recommended to never play basketball again. Throughout the movie, we watch as he overcomes the weakness and regains his strength. H eventually gets back to his old self and at the end of the movie he scores the winning points in a championship game against their rivals.

Whether or not the story the dad told him was true or not the moral of the story can be applied everywhere. God is Erv. And we are his crowd. We may see him heal cancer and sickness or perform miracles. Yet, we wouldn’t want to trust him to do that with us.

Faith is more than believing. It’s changing your life and allowing God to carry you in that wheelbarrow. It’s thinking in different ways than before or not doing something you would typically.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again give your life to God. Amazing things will come of it. The guy, Eric, in the movie faced death in high school and had to really fight to become his self again. Yet, in all that he never questioned God. He laughed and leaned on his family and God to get him through. He never gave up, never panicked, and never turned from his faith.

It’s a tough thing to do. When something in life that you love so much and is such a big part gets taken away it’s hard to not be mad at God. It’s hard not to question everything. There was a point where I didn’t even want to go to church. There was a communion Sunday when I was so fed up and angry I didn’t take communion. That was the first and only time that’s happened.

When I didn’t partake in communion it was something I’d never done before, but I just couldn’t do it. I was mad at God. He had taken so much from me and my aunt just that morning. I knew I couldn’t be a part of it though having doubts it’s not how it works.

My faith was derailed. I didn’t trust God with my life because I had so much heartache and I blamed him for it. It took me a long time to come to a point where I was comfortable with giving it all back to Him. Actually, like 4 years. But once I did let me tell you he did amazing things.

My life has immensely changed since then and only for the better. He has brought me to the point of loving where I’m at in life. To having and leading a life to be proud of. A life my dad would be proud of.

“Eventually ya know we have to let go and get in that wheelbarrow or we’ll never get to the other side. Beause believeing makes it possible, faith makes it real” -Hoovey

The mother of the son said this as the movie was ending and it couldn’t be truer. At a point in your life, you are given a choice. God or no God. Without God, you stay the same and you’ll have the same issues over and over. Nothing will ever get better or not for long anyway. With God you’ll evolve and change, your life won’t be great all the time but after time it will be great.

My decision to give it to God was by far the best decision I’ve ever made. Even in my bad days I know I won’t regret it. I know I’ve hit on this before, but it’s just so important. The movie Hoovey last night really hit it home for me. It’s a great lesson watching a family almost lose one of their own and still stay so strong in their faith and never waver in the wake of tragedy.

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Some relationships can’t withstand life itself

Unfortunately, in life, things don’t end up like they’re “supposed to”. Whether it be friends, relationships, careers, anything really. When something you spent almost you’re whole life investing in is just gone in a blink of an eye it hits hard. When my dad died it was the hardest thing ever. Still is daily.

I have only gotten through it with the help of friends and family and God. Then some of my closest family dies as well so I lean on others. I have to move so I lost all but one of my friends in my hometown and have to make new ones. And God is just trying to keep me sane day to day.

Aside from God friends and family are what got me through. Yet, those people you turned to for so much and they do you just leave. They just forget about all the memories and good times and even bad times you have been through together. The worst part after all that they leave on such a depressing and violent note.

I was very fortunate to have good memories right up to the last minute with my dad. We were laughing and enjoying time with each other. I thought it’d be like that with everyone else too. Leave on a peaceful note or remembering all the memories. The thing is that’s not always how things go. Sometimes the people you thought you could trust and rely on most disappoint you the greatest.

It’s hard to even wrap my head around. Someone you have most of your life involved with is great until an argument starts, things have been rocky for a while now, and you both say things you don’t mean but that’s the possible end. The end to a lifetime of laughter and tears together.

You just wonder what happened. How you got here. How messed up it is. Your next thoughts are all of the good memories and how you never thought it’d end. You try to end it on a good note but instead, the conversation turns south. It hurts and for a mind like mine you think about it day and night.

No matter how much you can’t change it, it’s all you can think about. You feel helpless and lost without this person. Your only hope is that God can intervene and fix it all. Take it back to the way it used to be.

Sometimes God decides to stay out though. Sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better. All while two people who were so close don’t have each other to lean on anymore.

Life happens and more times than not it’s not rainbows and butterflies. However, if for once in a very long time you are in one of those rare moments don’t let this sad, depressing bump in the road detour that happiness.

I am truly happy at this point in my life and I’m secure and comfortable where I’m at right now. Nobody can change that. Even losing one of the most important and special people in my life. I have an amazing boyfriend, my college is on track to graduate early, graduation is only three months away, for once my life is somewhere that if someone takes a low blow on who I am or my character. I can stand tall and know it’s not true I know who I am and those things even if they do hurt won’t define me.

The most hurtful words come from the people you’re closest to. They leave a scar on your heart from someone you never thought would hurt it. Someone who knows what you’ve been through.

From just recently being in one of these situations I’m battling with it as I write this. The words spoken are still running through my mind even if I know it was said out of anger. I can’t help but look back and just be speechless. I never thought things would be like this ever. But life happened…Sometimes relationships can’t stand the test of life itself.

Give it to God. Relationships, careers, school, family, death, everything. It’s hard when you lose someone who means so much, but let God take over and it might notIMG_0749 be over just yet. He has a greater plan in mind and as much as it hurts right now life goes on.

 

“For I know the plans I have for you…”

As graduation quickly approaches I find myself very excited. Not a bit nervous or worried. Partly because I have step by step plan for approximately the next 2-3 years. Obviously, nothing is to say those are set in stone because life happens and it isn’t always the nicest.

However, with that being said I find peace in it still. Even on the chance that my plans and dreams won’t happen or won’t happen like I want. I feel totally comfortable. Why you ask. The answer is simple. My faith.

My plan is to finish my 13th-year program through Delta College and my high school to graduate with my MEMCA certificate and 14 credits short of an associates degree. Then I will transfer to LSSU to get my bachelors degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology.  With that, I hope to work through the DNR. Once I move back after college and we both get settled into a career my current boyfriend plan to get married and start our family.

Like I said, I have a plan and if all goes my way I’m gonna have my dream life. When it comes down to it all this may not go my way. I might not get accepted to LSSU or might have to really search for a job. My boyfriend and I may break up. But through any of these instances I know I’d be ok eventually.

I was telling my aunt that I feel horrible about being comfortable with either possibility of my boyfriend and me. I’ve thought about it a lot. I’ve decided that if he isn’t the one God will take him away and then take care of me. I love him with everything I am and I truly hope that doesn’t happen.

It’s not even that I think it will because it’s the farthest worry from my mind, I just look at it like this, if God can take my dad away he can take anyone away and I survived through my dad. It means I can take on anything if I stay strong in my faith. I hope my plans all layout nicely and I’ll do everything in my power to see that happen.

I also know that life happens too. I mean I also planned on graduating, getting married, and starting a family while my dad was here. I planned on shooting my first deer with him right by my side to celebrate with me. I planned on him being the one to walk me down the aisle and give me away. God, however, had other plans.

After experiencing my dad’s unexpected death I realize God’s plans and my plans don’t always line up and more times than not his are always better anyway.

I am a list, calendar, pre-planning type of person and many times it comes in handy. Others times it doesn’t. For instance when something messes up my planning. It is really frustrating but if something didn’t work out I know it’s cause it wasn’t part of the big picture.

We aren’t able to see the big picture, therefore, our plans pretty much mean nothing. It’s a good guide to have and it’s good to have a general idea, but it’s not going to be up to you. Once that is realized life goes so much better. There are no worries or fears or what ifs. You know that you’ll be taken care of no matter what. You’ll survive in one piece no matter what life brings you.

If you’re struggling with something give it to God and he will handle it. I gave my life to God and now I look at my future with ideas in mind, but ready for a spin. I’ve faced the hardest thing in my life up to this point and the strength that grew in me from that makes me feel invincible with God of course.

From one of my favorite TV shows

                                          “Expect the Unexpected”- Big Brother

And be confident that you’ll be ok no matter what level of unepected comes.

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100%=Perfection

It’s hard to see life this way. Typically our minds only recognize the negative, even for the happiest people. A day may come where it just seems nothing can go right. Maybe even a week, a month, or a year. Seems like you just can’t catch a break.

It happens. To everyone at some point in time where you look at what happened and feel like a failure. After my dad died I didn’t know which way to turn, and when I finally decided it typically came back to bite me in the butt. It seemed impossible to release myself from the endless cycle.

I wanted to give up and crawl under a rock. Hoping it’d all go away. However, due to loving friends and family, they wouldn’t let me give up that easy. My life was a mess and I wasn’t sure if I’d ever recover. Time went on and I slowly started putting my life back together.

I found this quote just a few weeks ago and it hit me.

  “So far, you’ve survived 100% of your bad days. You’re doing great!!”-Unkown

There is no failure in this journey. Sure there are hiccups and sometimes I fall down but at the end of the day, I have survived every day. Every single day I woke up, endured the day, and went to bed in one piece. Some days were pretty bad and scary even, but I still made it through.

Just because I had one bad day in a span of a few months doesn’t mean the whole few months was bad. It only means that one day was. It means I can’t let those few days that are tough ruin my overall progress.

I was just talking to my aunt earlier this week about it. About the fact that I’m in a really good spot in life. I’m balancing a job, high school, and college while getting good grades, and I have a solid, promising long-term relationship. Some days are tough and those days I want to just be over.

Then there are days where I can laugh and enjoy the day no matter what happens good or bad. Those are the days that count. I can’t let myself get discouraged about the times I have bad days.

Overall if there ever comes a time in life where you’re looking death in the eye you’ll think of the good times all the good days and realize how far you’ve come. I haven’t been even slightly close to that, but when I get some quiet time to just myself I reflect on the last 5 years.

When I do that I don’t pick out the bad days, I remember the days where I decided to start my day different. I remember the first days where I went a full day without shedding a single tear. I remember even the funeral and just imagine my dad standing next to me telling me I’ll be ok and I’ll figure life out.

I still miss my dad like crazy and that pain will never decrease. What will decrease is the amount of time I spend feeling sad and angry about things I had no control in. Anybody I have ever lost deserves for their lives to be celebrated with memories and laughter.

It’s ok to have bad days because inevitably they will come, but don’t look at them as a point of failure. Wake up the next day and realize all the hardship and pain you’ve been through you are 100% successful. You made it through every single bad day and it can only get better.

No matter what you’ve been through your journey is perfect.

The Present is a Gift

Some people get caught up in the past and never move on, others are constantly looking to the future. The problem with this? They miss what’s going on right now.

The past tends to creep into our minds way too much for many reasons. Although it is important, often times we dwell on it more than we should. It’s nothing we can change or redo no matter how much we’d like to. That five minutes we should have spent with family or those words you regret saying. It’s all a part of your past.

Every decision you’ve ever made, good or bad, reflects who you are today. It has shaped you into who you are.

The future also tends to be something we dwell on. Whether it be worrying about a job or where you’ll live. Everyone thinks to the future probably multiple times a day, even if it only might be hours in the future. Thinking about the future is not an all bad thing, it’s good to plan and have goals. But, just like the past, it distracts us from what is really important.

Every decision you decide to make, good or bad, will one day reflect who you are.

The one very important component we miss is the present. The here and now. So many of us are dwelling on the past or worrying about the future we can’t enjoy what’s going on right in front of us.

I’m a victim of this in a million different ways. My past means precious memories with loved ones and I look back pretty much daily. My future means college, a family, and life of my own. I often forget to enjoy today.

I am a huge planner, my spontaneous activity is slim to none, I like to know what I’m doing, where, when, and how. I’m just one of “those” people. I overthink and overanalyze. It’s just who I am. But on the other hand. I have goals and 95% of the time I know EXACTLY how I will accomplish those goals, not much will stand in my way.

I have the rest of my education pretty much planned to a T, have since practically freshman year. However, it’s kind of drawn away from me truly enjoying my last year of high school. My senior year. Because I chose to take college classes I miss out on a lot, most I don’t miss, but the whole “senior year” atmosphere I am.

The thing is after my dad died one of the things that stuck with me is that you live every day like it’s your last. We aren’t guaranteed the next day and can’t change the day before, all you have is now. I am just as guilty as anyone else for dwelling on the past or over planning the future.

It is hard to live in this moment. There’s so much to do. Especially at my age. I’m always thinking ahead. It drives my boyfriend crazy, he always tells me there’s plenty of time. Yet, in the next second, I’ll get caught looking at the amazing sunset God painted across the sky that night. I can get lost in it.

It is hard to do. But I challenge anyone who is reading this to make a New Years Resolution to enjoy this moment. A single moment.  Don’t think about the past or future, just get lost in what’s going on around you.

Live every day to its fullest, don’t waste a single second. The past will always be who you are today, the future will always be something to look forward to. Now take a break from both and enjoy the little things. Hug a loved one a little longer, take that picture, and stare at the sunset until the sky is black.

Life gets hectic. Stop. Just simply enjoy what you have now.

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Onward and Upward

“I’ve seen a baby cry and seconds later he laughs. The beauty of life, pain never lasts”- J. Cole

As I approach the 5-year mark of my dad’s death the heartache, grief, and pain that comes along with it flood my heart. The pain of my heart tearing apart was almost unbearable some days. At one point in time, I hoped and prayed that one morning I just wouldn’t wake up.

I felt like I had no worth, nothing to live for anymore. I had hit rock bottom…Days came and went and the pain seemed to just weigh over me. That is until I decided to change it. I was tired of living such a miserable life. I knew my dad would never want that for me.

I had to make the change to be happy again, to remind myself my life was worth living. I literally had my whole life ahead of me and I just wanted it to end. I look back and it’s so messed up, but the pain of waking up to a world without my dad was something I had to learn to cope with.

Everyone told me eventually the pain will go away and I never believed them. One day it did. One day I found myself actually smiling again. A real smile. I wasn’t miserable anymore and I had something to look forward to the next day.

I hit absolute rock bottom after my dad died. I’d just get back up then pushed back down as other loved ones died after. But eventually, even after all the pain and suffering, I can enjoy life again. I miss all my loved ones like crazy, however, it does become more bearable.

Nothing lasts forever and that includes pain. Sure it’s something you’ll face all through life. Just don’t let it take away your smile. If you lose something that makes life unbearable sometimes count your blessings. You were fortunate enough to have that.

Like what I had with my dad, it’s unbreakable, I wouldn’t trade it for the world because most people aren’t fortunate enough to have relationships like that with their parents.

Pain will consume your life you let it and let me tell ya a miserable one at that. It’s ok to grieve and cry it means you’re healing. But the second you let it start changing you, that’s when it needs to stop. Everyone around you will sense it. Your family won’t want to be around you, friends won’t want to hang out, because eventually, it is just depressing to be around.

Tragedies happen to everyone at some point or another. When you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom remember you can only go up. Take the stand against yourself and pick out something good in every day. Laugh a little extra. Find yourself again. Pain will come and go, just don’t let it be permanent.

It’s almost breathtaking when you have the feeling of happiness once again in your heart when you feel that smile forming. You feel accomplished. In a mere 2 days, I will probably be a mess. But that pain will not consume me. It only took 5 years but I am now in control. I am truly happy again; I have friends, family, and goals in life to live for. I have a life planned to achieve, and a man upstairs to make proud.

The sole motivation for me is to make my dad proud, to stand by what he taught me, and build a life to be proud of. My phone is flooded with inspirational quotes for anytime I even begin to start thinking negatively and Pinterest is my best friend.

There will be few moments you’ll be prouder than the day you conquer something you’ve been battling. I’ve become stronger because of the pain I’ve endured and I can stand proudly in that; up to this point, it is my greatest personal accomplishment.

Even if it is a cliche, things will get better. As long as you make the effort to continue moving up.

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Memories that survive the grave

From day one my dad was my hero. He could do anything in my eyes. He was everything I could’ve ever wanted.

Tonight as I was filling out my planner for December the inevitable label of December 13th showed up. I write in 5 years. Half a decade. My dad has really been gone half a decade. Almost a quarter of my life…That’s scary to think.

In my English comp class at Delta, I have been working on a personal essay. After many failed attempts on other subjects, I chose the day of my dad’s funeral. All those tiny details came back and it practically wrote itself.

This paper also got me thinking about the future and what it will be like.

Since he died I’ve gotten my license, my own car, jobs, started high school and college, working on finishing up high school. Before long I’ll look back and it’ll be 10 years. I’ll be done with college, on my own, with kids and a husband.

Some things I don’t remember about him. Like the sound of his voice and that rips me apart inside. But I’ll never forget those piercing blue eyes or that smile. Anytime I smell sawdust or the woodsy smell of my hunting clothes it feels like he just walked through the room.

For a long, long time there were even songs that I couldn’t listen to because they reminded me of him so much. One song imparticular I still have a hard time with “I loved her first” by Heartland. My mom always says that was gonna be our daddy-daughter song. I was his first baby girl… and he won’t be there.

I have been blessed with plenty of other important men in my life who would be nothing but honored to walk me down the aisle and dance with me in such a hard time. But it just won’t be the same without my dad giving me away. A little girl dreams about that her whole life. I won’t get that same experience.

It’s hard to face facts that he won’t be there to see me walk across the stage in the spring or to give me away to the man at the end of the aisle. But I wouldn’t be able to face life at all if it wasn’t for the memories I have. For the relationship so strong it makes my heart still beat.

On December 13th, 2017 I will be able to say I proudly made it 5 years. Living off memories and living in the legacy. I now make an effort to spend more time with my family, building those memories that’ll live through the grave.

This past week I hunted with my grandpa and even though I didn’t get a deer I’ll never forget hunting with him over the years. Even at 17 I still sit with him not that I need to it’s that I want to. Next week I go hunt with my other grandpa in my dad’s tree. We have seen maybe 20 deer total over a 3-year span but that’s not what it’s about. Anytime I have a free few hours I call up my great grandma to just visit or help out whenever she needs it.

I’ve learned that without memories death is a lot harder. My grandma died after I had not seen her for almost a year. Deaths hard on its own, but regret sets in too. So I made the decision to never let that happen again. I became really close with my aunt Bev for the year or two before she died and she left such an imprint on me. I have great memories going to visit her carrying on the “howdy-duty” tradition. She remembered that phrase the last time I saw her and we both instantly broke into tears. It was something special we shared.

Sometimes I can’t stand someone in my family, but I’ve learned one too many times that once they’re gone you don’t get that time to make memories anymore. I was so fortunate to have what I had with my dad. God gave me a father who is irreplaceable and nobody will ever be worthy enough of filling his shoes. Ever.

But had I not been so lucky…I’m not sure how I would’ve done it. I had 12 years of memories to pull me though. I cannot stress enough how important it is to spend time with loved ones and make those eternal memories. I’ve built snowmen at 9:00 p.m. with my great grandma and I’ll never forget it. I’ve hunted with grandpas and uncles and even in the longest, slowest days, I take something away.

Even if it’s just a couple hours make the effort. Make those memories that’ll survive the grave cause when they’re gone that’s all you have. Five years and I still have memories of my dad crystal clear. 3 years I still remember my grandpa Don when he’d sit between my legs at football games sharing a 3 Musketeers and a coke. 2 years I still remember my aunt Tammy’s SC accent, “Lexi Lou, my baby girl”.

It may not seem like much but the littlest memories will be engrained forever. Don’t waste the time you do have. You can’t get it back once it’s gone.

    He may be gone, but his spirit will forever be in my heart and his hand on my                               shoulder. I will never be alone. Love you bunches daddy ❤
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Faith moves mountains

“Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”- Matthew 17:20

After my Dad died I found my first “impossible”. Happiness. Contentment. Just simply being able to enjoy life. When he died it took my life and flipped it in any way possible. I was full of grief and anger. Why my dad? Why me? I was mad at God for taking him away when I wasn’t ready.

I fell away from my faith. Truth is I was just going through the motions with that as well. I came from a family that went to church, went to church functions and lived the Christian life every day. It was just what I was supposed to do.

However, when my dad died I started questioning things. Of course, I knew that I needed to fall back on my faith at that point, but it was so hard when he just took away the most important man in my life. I wanted to do it on my own.

As you can expect nothing good came of this. I was miserable. I just wanted to see my dad again. I wanted him to sweep me up and tell me everything is going to be ok.

But, even in my time of doubt and rebellion God still took care of me. He pulled me through when I didn’t want help. After about 2-3 years, I gave in. I realized I can’t do this on my own, but it was still hard to dive back into my faith.

Until my boyfriend broke up with me…After 6 months out of the blue, he dumped me. I thought I had fixed my problem and found happiness. God said no, he’s not it. Lean on me again, I am here. I decided that obviously I had no idea what I was doing and I was so wrong in my choices.

I told myself for at least the next year I would focus on me. No boys, no friend drama, just me and my relationship with God.

Over that next year, I learned a lot of things about myself and who I wanted to be. Finally, I was getting back on the right track. God brought me back to what was important. He helped me make peace with my Dad’s death and events following shortly after.

Then on October 11th, he brought the final step of regaining my childhood faith. My boyfriend Eric. This has nothing to do with boyfriends but everything to do with Christianity. See, Eric went to church when he was little but then because of life happening hadn’t gone since.

Because my faith is so important to me I want my partner in life to feel the same. I invited him to church with me to which he came and has since. He goes and enjoys going. We talk about it and how he feels. As expected he’s not ready yet but wants to continue learning before committing.

The thing is I watch him getting excited and want to go. That, in turn, has the same effect on me. I find myself wanting to go, wanting to do devotions and pray my heart out again. I want to be there for him for questions, advice, whatever it may be. We can grow together in our faith. If God sees fit of course.

After all my rambling I promise I have a point to this. Which is that I had so little faith in my heart after my dad died. Yet, God was still there to carry me through. He had a greater plan for me than to just let me roll over and quit. Then, even in my still questioning state, he brought me a guy who has become very important in my life and who I hope to be who I spend my life with.

He brought me happiness again and someone to share it with even while I had faith smaller than a sesame seed. He moved those mountains of grief and anger and revealed a beautiful valley of faith for me to strive in.

Even during your darkest moments where God is not your favorite right then, he will still be there. When your faith is wavering he will strengthen it. I can’t tell you how because I’m still amazed how he did me but I can tell you I’m in a much better place now though.

Let God take over in your life. He knows whats for the best and trust me we don’t have the slightest idea. Give it to God and let him mold you into who he wants you to be. Life will be a million times better. And before you know it your faith will return bringing your smile and happiness with it.

Terrible situations, beautiful results

Have you ever felt like you’ve been done wrong? Whether it be a significant other, friend, or family. I sure have but by someone, I never expected it from. God.

After my dad died I had such a hard time keeping my faith strong and my usual desire to be a Christian dwindled at a scary rate. I just couldn’t grasp why he would take my dad from me. He’s supposed to know everything so he must’ve known how close we were and how important he was to our whole family.

My dad was an amazing guy there is and never will be anybody that can even come close. He was a family man, he worked hard, went to church, lived a solid Christian life, you just couldn’t beat him. As his little girl, I couldn’t find any flaws even if I tried. He was the best dad anyone could ask for.

Yet, just like that God took him away. Like a toddler, my favorite word for months and years after he died was, Why? Why him? Why not someone else? Why now? His death rattled so many people it’s unbelievable. So I know it wasn’t just me thinking this. When those 6 guys carried his casket out to that logging truck all I could say is why.

This should not be happening he was only 34. He has so much more life to live. But that wasn’t part of God’s plan. I think that fact that I didn’t know why it had to happen hurt more than anything else. I was just dumbfounded. I mean there are murders that are going to rot in jail, yet, my dad was the one to die not them.

About a year ago one of my “anthem songs” came out (along with many, many others). It’s called Thy Will by Hillary Scott and her family. It was written shortly after she had a miscarriage and obviously as anyone can imagine was having a tough time.

Even though our situations could not be any more different the song speaks to my heart. We both lost someone very near and dear to our hearts.

Now almost 5 years later when I look back I’m beginning to see why God planned this. There are sooooo many good things that came from the heartache. Just being able to write a blog is one. It was a terrible situation but out of it arose beautiful scenarios.

If it wasn’t for my dad’s death I would not be writing right now. Hopefully inspiring others all around. Sharing my journey. God had greater plans for me than to just be a small town girl in Gladwin. People, including myself, seem to think they know best and know how to navigate life.

When really none of us know. I most definitely would not have planned my dad’s death that soon. All of it is part of the bigger picture though. My life is proving that God’s way is usually the best way anyhow.

“That my broken heart is a part of your plan. When I try to pray
All I’ve got is hurt and these four words. Thy will be done”

God will take care of you no matter what. At the time it may not seem like it but I promise he pulls through. I’ve never been in a better spot than I am now. I had to endure some tragedy to get here but I got here. Everything happens for a reason. It’s a cliché quote but I’ve lived it and it’s so much more than a quote. It’s a fact.

I highly recommend listening to this song. It’s one of my favorites!!! It really opens your eyes as well. Their whole album is called Love Remains for those days you need a pick me up. Enjoy:)